Friday, July 22, 2011

Boston 2011

We were in Boston a little over a year ago, but a couple friends have recently moved there, so we took a quick little weekend trip to visit. Kurt, Jenn, Christine, and I took the bus up after work on Friday, and Kurt and I took the train back Sunday evening.

After a long, rainy and traffic filled bus ride, we arrived in Boston and met Kurt's friend Thomas for a few drinks. Apparently "Happy Hours" are not allowed in the city, but "Drink Specials" are okay? If you can't tell, Kurt was in favor of the "Bucket of Blondes" :)

Along with our buckets of beer, we ordered some nachos. The bartender said in his 27 years of working at that bar, he had never seen a more beautiful plate of nachos come out of that kitchen. They were pretty tasty too and hit the spot after sitting on a bus for 5 hours. 

I guess we stayed out too late and the subway shut down. Who shuts public transit down?! Um, turns out most other cities other than NYC. I guess we are spoiled here. Anyway, catching a taxi was no small feat since everyone was trying to get one at the same time. You would think if the train stops running, they would have an excellent cab system. Nope. You can't even tell when a car is available or full. Did I mention it was raining? Yeah, not our finest hour. Eventually we grabbed one and made it to Thomas's apartment and immediately went to bed.

I have become such a supporter of exploring new cities by bike. (We've done it in Columbus and Ljubljana.) You cover so much more ground without the sore feet of walking (or death march as it often becomes). You can reach places not super convenient to public transportation. Plus, you get some exercise! (because we all now traveling means lots of eating and drinking...or is that just me?). I used to be skeptical but am now a believer.

Our little bicycle gang of Jenn, Kurt, Monica, and Thomas. Some tips for bike exploring: always wear a helmet, use bike lanes when you can find them, and figure out directions before you embark on your way. I feel like we stopped at every intersection, pulled out our smartphones, and tried to figure out where hell we were going. Boston is confusing! We are also spoiled by our NYC grid, I guess :)

All the wrong turns were worth it once we reached our destination: the Sam Adams Brewery!

Hops and other beer ingredients I can't remember.

The pinnacle of the tour was the tasting room where we had a few samples. It wasn't quite as free wheeling as the Harpoon Brewery tour we went on last time, but I got another tasting glass to add to my collection! (Am I turning into a frat boy?!)

After the tour, we had some Cuban sandwiches at a pretty authentic place in Jamaica Plains.

Then it was on to see Keely and Patrick in South Boston! Isn't their house so cute!?!?

They've done an enormous renovation on their house and are still working hard. My friends think they are crazy for taking on such an ambitious project. I think it's an architect thing. Maybe an Auburn thing too. We all have this I can do it myself! mentality. Crazy or not, they've made some awesome (albeit slow) progress.

Where some walls used to be. That's right, they took out walls.

Check out that DIY project!! Looks familiar, right?!

They are currently undecided on a color for their bedroom but are leaning towards a dark grey. I love the gradient of the paint swatches though!

Aubie's Boston doppelganger. Funny how he didn't bite or scratch me while I petted him...

Keely, Patrick, Busy, and Porkchop, thanks for letting us stop by! Keep up the good work! You're making awesome progress!

There was a Red Sox game going on at Fenway. Since I was too cheap to let us get tickets, we just rode by to check out the pre-game madness.

Dinner at the Barking Crab.

We had to wait a long time for a table for our large party but eventually had some yummy (mostly fried) seafood. 

Sunday before Kurt and I left, we did some walking around Cambridge and the MIT campus. We found a Gehry (obviously) building and picked out all the things we disliked about it :)

One of my favorite Boston things ever is the Aero Saarinen MIT Chapel. Always breathtaking.

Now I can check "beer tower" off my list of life experiences. I wouldn't suggest drinking one on your own, but it was fun to share one at the Cambridge Brewing Company. {Thanks for the picture, Jenn!}

Then before you knew it, Kurt and I had to catch a train back to NYC. If you can afford it, the train is much more pleasant than the bus. The views were pretty awesome. A nice bookend to a quick, fun trip.

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